12 Sep 2005

New Zealand aid to Solomon Islands to rebuild roading and develop business acumen

8:10 pm on 12 September 2005

New Zealand's aid to Solomon Islands is to be extended to improving roading in rural areas and providing training for small business operators.

NZAID's main focus in the Solomons is restoring basic education, but chief executive, Dr Peter Adams, says working to improve rural livelihoods is also part of their strategy.

The aid agency has now allocated up to 17 million US dollars over three years to help rebuild roading infrastructure, initially on Guadalcanal and Malaita.

And Dr Adams says a small business enterprise centre in Honiara that NZAID has supported for some years, may, after a review, be expanded into other towns.

He says the intention is to also extend the service to women.

"It's particularly, in recent times, evident that a lot of Solomon Islands women are interested and able in a business sense, but we could do a whole lot more, in a business sense, but we could do a lot more by supporting the centre more strongly and supporting outreach from the centre."